4 The 100% Rule
The 100% rule (Haugan, 2002, p 17) is a core characteristic of the WBS. This rule
states that the WBS includes 100% of the work defined by the project scope and captures
ALL deliverables—internal, external, and interim—in terms of work to be completed,
including project management. The 100% rule is one of the most important principles
guiding the development, decomposition and evaluation of the WBS. The rule applies at
all levels within the hierarchy: the sum of the work at the ‘‘child’’ level must equal 100%
of the work represented by the ‘‘parent’’ and the WBS should not include any work that
falls outside the actual scope of the project, that is, it cannot include more than 100% of
the work. It is important to remember that the 100% rule also applies at the activity
level. The work represented by the activities in each work package must add up to 100%
the work necessary to complete the work package.

2.5 WBS for Construction of a Bicycle

The scope of a project can be decomposed in multiple ways. Regardless of the
manner of decomposition, the sum of the work packages for each different
decomposition should add up to the same scope of work. The following sample WBS
illustrates key concepts that will be discussed throughout the remaining chapters of this
Figure 2-1 is a sample WBS designed to capture the scope of work required to
construct a custom bicycle. To keep the graphic simple, this particular WBS does not
differentiate among the many types of bicycles that can be built from similar WBS
constructs, for example, a road bicycle, mountain bicycle, racing bicycle, or any other
bicycle, but assumes that detailed requirements for a specific type of bicycle would be
provided as further decompositions of the illustrated WBS elements.
This particular example was selected for its simplicity to enable the reader to
focus on the WBS itself, rather than the multitude of alternatives, options, and
components required to define a complex, unique, and perhaps esoteric product. The
bicycle is a familiar and common product, an example that easily suggests the processes
required to produce the end result.
This illustration shows how concepts and guidance described in later chapters
work together to produce a completed bicycle that meets the quality, timeliness,
features, and functionality requirements of the project sponsor, which in this case is the
Specifically, this WBS illustrates the various levels of a WBS, the numbering
scheme, naming convention, relationship of parent and child WBS elements, and the
representation of each of these characteristics and principles working together to form a
complete WBS. This illustration represents one example of the possible decomposition of
the testing elements. It is not intended to be comprehensive or definitive.
The bicycle WBS helps to communicate and reinforce some of the concepts
presented. The annotated illustration (Figure 2-2) immediately following shows that
allWBS elements are not decomposed to the same extent. For example, this hypothetical
bicycle WBS does not decompose each Level 2 WBS component further into
subelements. While it can be helpful to decompose the entire WBS to the same level for
some projects, there are no hard and fast rules dictating that each WBS element is
decomposed to the same level. Decomposition is a use-related characteristic that is
defined by the context of the project the WBS is developed to support. This concept is
presented in detail in Chapter 4, Section 4.2.
Additionally, this example communicates WBS concepts that reflect application in
a broad array of industries. The construction of the WBS can remain the same, such as
the relationship of the WBS elements, the decomposition level, and the relationship to
other WBS elements. The content can be modified to reflect the application of the
concept in alternate terms for other industries, projects, or programs. This is illustrated in
the decomposed elements that are identified below the Level 2 WBS element for
Integration (1.6). In Figure 2-2, elements– are called Component Test,
Product Test and Customer Test, respectively. In the next example, Figure 2-3, these

elements are singled out. System Test. 2.6 Representations of the WBS The WBS can be represented in a variety of ways including graphical. To illuminate the concept being discussed. or tabular views. these WBS elements are frequently shown in a number of different representations. the WBS: ● Defines the hierarchy of deliverables ● Supports the definition of all work required to achieve an end objective or deliverable(s) ● Provides a graphical representation or textual outline of the project scope ● Provides the framework for all deliverables across the project life cycle ● Provides a vehicle for integrating and assessing schedule and cost performance ● Facilitates assignment of resources ● Facilitates the reporting and analysis of progress and status data ● Provides a framework for specifying performance objectives. the WBS enables the project team to predict and forecast costs. schedules. throughout the standard. Finally. For clarity. textual.7 Summary In summary. resource requirements. and Acceptance Test.same elements are entitled Unit Test. 2. or sets of decomposed elements are highlighted by placing dotted lines around them. Regardless of the representation used. . the bicycle WBS is repeatedly used as a reference point to clarify and illustrate concepts. and allocations more accurately. parts of the WBS are extracted. Two common methods are the hierarchy diagram and the outline or tabular view as shown in Figure 2-4. showing how the concept of testing is represented in various ways using basic WBS elements.